How Oasis drives online conversion using social proof messaging

With so much choice online today and fickle customers who can switch between brands on their mobile in an instant, it’s important for retailers to keep their websites as slick as possible to encourage shoppers to buy.

Oasis has been ahead of the curve when it comes to introducing technology to help increase conversion rates, from introducing Amazon Pay for ease of payment to incorporating user-generated content so customers can see what their clothes look like on real people. Digital director at Oasis, Liam Price, understands that it’s all about constant innovation and small incremental steps to increase conversion, rather than investing a single big shiny technology stack. Him and his team currently work with around 50 different partners which all plug into its Salesforce Commerce Cloud eCommerce platform, and the latest of which is a social proof messaging technology solution from Taggstar, which the retailer is using to validate a shopper’s online buying decision.

Speedy implementation

Price says the implementation of Taggstar’s social proof messaging functionality took a mere eight days. “It’s probably the quickest one we’ve ever done,” he says. “Generally, a new technology partner would take two to three months to get over the line, but it was a joint effort on both sides as we had a tight deadline for our summer sale.”

Clearly the effort paid off. Oasis saw a 4.57% increase in conversion rate after introducing the messages which inform a customer if a product is ‘trending’ or ‘selling fast’, which encourages them to buy an item they are interested in. However, Price was quick to point out that this particular technology doesn’t increase conversion for the sake of it, but validates a customer’s decision.

“It still needs to be an informed purchase – we don’t want to increase our returns rate,” he explains. “The messages instigate a purchase, but we don’t want to drive up unnecessary purchases – there’s a fine line between quality and demand. If it all comes back, then it’s no use to the business.”

Oasis products with social proof messaging see a 4.57% uplift in conversion
Oasis products with social proof messaging see a 4.57% uplift in conversion

This incremental revenue allowed Price and his team to roll out the technology from a 50% test group of customers to 100%. “It’s been overwhelmingly positive across all devices,” he notes.

Oasis has also been the first retailer to try out Taggstar’s latest messaging which informs customers how many times an item has been bought since they last visited the page. The retailer is also working with the vendor to further develop the solution outside the realms of its own website, for example feeding it back into its active Instagram account, or beaming the information onto digital signs in the store.

"The messages instigate a purchase, but we don’t want to drive up unnecessary purchases – there’s a fine line between quality and demand"Liam Price, digital director, Oasis

Further technology developments

So what’s next on the roadmap for Oasis? Price says now the Oasis website is in a strong position, the retailer is looking at other revenue streams, including marketplaces, while also taking the current website and extending the product range to offer more choice for its online customers.

Although, Price is mindful of the difficult position many high-street retailers are facing, both in a physical store and online. “Online sales are getting harder and harder, gone are the days of 20% growth, and I do genuinely, every day, think of new innovative things to try – if you are not failing, you’re not learning.”

Subscription fashion

What is getting Price excited at the moment is how to develop a value-led subscription model. He notes that subscription has been a significant trend in fashion, with the increase in models such as Stitch Fix, but there’s also room to expand on the retailer’s existing delivery subscription model, which offers customers next day and nominated day delivery for £9.99 a year. “How do we take that to the next level?” he asks, pointing to Asos’s annual delivery subscription which has fluctuated in price, and has not offered customers any additional value.

“There’s an element of re-emphasising what they’ve got, informing them if they’ve saved £200, but we could also unlock extra services for free, such as personal styling in store or access to collections early, and that’s a really nice way of driving loyalty online and driving in-store experience. This adds value and we’ll be spending time next year working out what to offer our loyal customers.”